Offering a fully immersive gaming experience, virtual reality headset will go on sale to consumers early next year
The first consumer-facing Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headsets will offer native support for Windows 10 when they go on sale during the first quarter of 2016.
Oculus founder Palmer Luckey was joined on stage at an event in San Francisco by Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s head of Xbox gaming, to reveal more information about the Microsoft tie-up which will also see headsets ship with a free Xbox One controller and feature interactivity with some Xbox games.
The company showed off a number of demos showcasing the gaming and interactive qualities of the system at an event in San Francisco, but details about pricing were absent.
“VR allows us to experience anything, anywhere… This is going to change everything,” said Brendan Iribe, chief executive of Oculus. “It is a fundamental shift: a paradigm change. And it all begins now.”
The Microsoft deal means Oculus owners will be able to stream Xbox One games to the headset, displaying visuals much like a large home cinema screen.
However there was no news on whether Microsoft or Xbox One plans to offer VR games of its own, although Spencer hinted that more information would be shared at next week’s E3 conference in Los Angeles.
Instead, Oculus also revealed Oculus Touch, wireless hand-held controllers that can be used by someone wearing a Rift headset, in order to control gaming experiences and interact with the virtual world.
“We really think Oculus Touch is going to surprise you,” said Luckey. “We think they are going to deliver an entirely new set of virtual reality experiences.”
“This isn’t science fiction: this is reality, and it’s happening today.”
Originally one of the major success stories of crowdfunding site Kickstarter, Oculus was acquired by Facebook for £1.1bn back in March 2014.
A consumer edition of Oculus Rift has been eagerly anticipated by many in the technology industry as it promises to deliver a more immersive VR experience than anything else on the market and provide a huge new opportunity for developers to showcase their creativity.
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